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Repeal Amendment goes too far

Posted Monday, January 3, 2011, at 9:33 AM

Those who are so dissatisfied with the nation's direction - meaning, it seems these days, nearly everyone - may want to consider a law professor's proposal to give Americans what would, in effect, some amount of veto power over the Constitution.

Randy Barnett of Georgetown University has come up with what he calls the Repeal Amendment.

Don;t like a national law? Lobby your state legislator.

If two-thirds of the country's state Houses and Senates - and the proposal would require both institutions in these states - voted against a national law, that law would be repealed.

The text:

"Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed."

Sounds good on the surface - maybe.

But not so fast. State legislators have enough to do in their home areas without having to deal with national issues.

Over the past year we've heard much talk of power being transferred from Washington to the states. But are these people really thinking that those federal programs would actually be abolished instead by already cash-strappped state governments?

The U.S. governmental system, despite all the potshots it absorbs, still works better than those of most other countries. Giving states the power to repeal laws seems to be an attempt to strip power from Congress. And that's going too far.

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Europe lacks the system of transfer payments (yes, even welfare payments) and federal taxation which has provided balance and stability (no riots yet) in the United States between bombed out areas like Flint, Michigan, and boom areas like parts of the so-called Sunbelt. This is why the Euro currency is on such a shaky ground because of a lack of a federal European government. But if the proposal you discuss is ever adopted, say hello to the fractious and fragmented Europeanized United States. The result will be the sure decline of our already declined nation.

-- Posted by zzoop on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 10:44 AM

I don't see the downside in striping power from the Federal government and returning it to the states. If the federal government passes a law that two thirds of the states oppose, then the government does not have the consent of the governed and that is what our government is supposed to be. There needs to be more restraint on the Federal government to prevent them from dictating to the people.

The U.S. senate was once composed of senators appointed by the state governments to represent the interest of their respective states. This was changed to allow for U.S. senators to be elected by popular vote and opened the door for winning elections based on whichever candidate was able to raise the most money for their campaigns to win these seats. It would seem to me that the states interest took second place to the financiers of those campaigns and that the checks and balances put in place to assure limited centralized governmental power was undermined at that point.

Stripping power from the U.S. congress to pass laws that the states oppose would be step in the right direction placing more power back with the people where it belongs. I am much more willing and able to travel to Nashville to take part in the legislative process than I am to travel to Washington for the same purpose. Perhaps we would see a return to the phrase "The United States are.." Instead of "the United States is.."

Representation of the people by the people, not Washington bureaucratic mandates.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 10:45 AM

The Euro-Dollar has gained in strength steadily against the U.S. dollar ever since it was introduced. So much so, that there has been talk of developing an Amero-Dollar to combine South America, Mexico, U.S. and Canada under one currency to compete. There is also talk of a one world currency. I don't think that is a very good argument for balance and stability, greed is universal no matter what currency we use. How much freedom and soveriegnty has to be sacrificed to a central government in the name of balance and stability? What happens when that central government becomes the U.N.?

The Europeanized U.S. is more in line with Centralized banking and socialist programs placing more and more power and resources into the hands of fewer and fewer people. That is not the direction I would like to see us go.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 11:04 AM

I don't see it so much stripping power from Congress as it is states asserting the powers that they should have had all along. If U.S. Congressmen actually had the best interest of their constituents, rather than the balance of their re-election campaign accounts, in mind when they come up with these monstrous bills we wouldn't have to be overly concerned about what hare-brained idea they're cooking up next.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 11:12 AM

Unfortunately since Randy Barnett of Georgetown University isn't a legislator, the odds of him getting Congress to approve a bill (and the Knucklehead in charge to sign it) are less than winning the lotto.

-- Posted by Thom on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 11:25 AM

I agree with Thom on this one. All the amendment would do is give a mechanism for states for exercise already guaranteed rights. State legislators are busy but much of that stems from trying to abide by unfunded mandates and regulations passed down from Washington. It would also make federal legislators less tone deaf when it comes to the fiscal health of the states they represent (see California).

Hopefully some fresh faced senator or congressman will latch on to this idea. Stranger things have happened

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 11:46 AM

You really need to read the constitution, especially the 10th amendment.

This country was founded with the intention of a small, weak, limited federal government, with most day to day operations handled by the states or individual communities.

Stripping away about 75% of the federal government would be an excellent start.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 3:51 PM

Our legislators nor Congress could create amendments that would protect our rights like the original constitution does.

For anyone to start making Amendments thinking they could better it, would only be taking more rights away from the people.

The states need to expel the U.S. Government from its boarders and start taking care of its own people. Make the National Government small and harmless.

The Elite Bankers already have their claws in our National Government and reaching for the State Governments now.

As far as National (and) State Laws are concerned, we have the power to repeal them by "Jury Nullification".

Anytime we sit on a jury, we can vote not guilty to any law there is and the court has to abide by the jury decision.

Judges won't tell you that you have a right to vote anyway you want to or the right to nullify a law when sitting on the jury.

It is our right... USE IT! Google Jury Nullification if you don't understand it.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 4:41 PM

Jury Nullification is the people's tool to rein in our out-of-control federal government.

For information on jury nullification, go to the Fully Informed Jury Assocation (FIJA) website at http://www.fija.org

-- Posted by DannyG on Tue, Jan 4, 2011, at 11:40 AM

Thank you DannyG,

People have to get informed as to what we have rights to do in OUR Country!

Not only did they claim our rights in the declaration of Independence, but they also promised to protect each other.

"-- And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

What better way to protect our peers than to be able to NULLIFY unconstitutional laws from the Tyranny of a runaway Government!

The Constitution is the most amazing Document created by man. Even the State Constitutions can not go against the U.S. Constitution.

Does every one see why "we the people" have no right to screw up the Constitution with petty amendments?

It was written by men inspired by God. Where are you going to find men like that today who are willing to protect all others with their Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor?

Not gonna Happen!

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Tue, Jan 4, 2011, at 12:54 PM

all this sounds like a lot of hate in lots of ways we all vote and then we follow the law sounds so simple to me. so what is the problem I vote every time we have an election. If things do not go the way I think it should have I have always respected the out-come and followed the law. What is the problem with us now days????? I support the Constitution and our soldiers who have protected it. All sour loose-rs should man up and grow up. We have a wonderful country, the best, and we should all be proud of it. I truly think we all have been blessed by God.

-- Posted by gary ashley on Tue, Jan 11, 2011, at 5:04 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.